Rest in peace, Todd McGovern
Published: June 27, 2012
He quarterbacked one of the best football teams in Zama American High School history. A team perhaps best known for its hard-hitting, stingy defense and diversity in the backfield, where one might find Lou Lewis running an outside sweep as easily as finding coach Jay Gilbo's "big backfield" plowing the road with Jason Sugg, Lee Spires and Hux Jones. Just call 24 Lead or 23 Lead. And watch the Trojans go.
It was a Zama team that won a rare road victory at Yokota when Lewis intercepted an option pitchout in the backfield and returned it for a touchdown. And it was a Trojans team that played two spine-tingling battles with Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools co-champion American School In Japan.
Zama beat the Mustangs 24-13 in the season opener and ASIJ edged the Mustangs 21-16 on a last-second touchdown catch by Matt Harrison in the closing seconds. Each team finished 5-1, with the Trojans earning, to that point, their first share of a Kanto Plain title. And it seemed to set the tone for the school year for Zama, whose boys basketball team also shared the Kanto title and finished fifth in the Far East tournament, their best finish in nine years.
Taking snaps under center for that great Zama football team was Todd McGovern, who divided his high school time in Japan playing for both Zama and Robert D. Edgren.
Alums from both Trojans and Eagles Nation have been in mourning since Sunday, when it was learned that McGovern finally lost a lengthy battle against melanoma, perhaps the most vicious form of skin cancer. He was 36. Much too soon for a life so vibrant to be snuffed out so quickly.
Rest in peace, Todd McGovern. You will be missed.